Dinesh Nana
Durban - Before Dinesh Nana walked down the steps to the holding cells at the Durban High Court, he looked towards the gallery where Kurtlee Pillay’s family sat and mouthed the words: “I am sorry.”

Nana took to the witness stand on Tuesday to testify against Blaine Raman who is accused of kidnapping, robbing and killing the Overport student.

Charges were initially withdrawn against Raman in 2015, but he was re-charged after the confessions from his two former co-accused, Nana and Bilal Tayob.

Tayob and Nana had confessed to their involvement in ­Pillay’s death on the night of November 4, 2014.

Tayob received a suspended sentence and Nana is currently serving an eight-year sentence.

Raman is accused of kidnapping Pillay, stabbing him repeatedly and then driving over him with Pillay’s car. Raman had pleaded not guilty to the charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder.

In court, a frail and soft-spoken Nana said Raman had told him and Tayob that he believed Pillay had been telling his (Raman’s) girlfriend at the time that he was also seeing other girls.

Nana said he asked Raman if he was certain, and if so, they would need to “get” Pillay and take his phone so that they could see if there were messages between Pillay and Raman’s girlfriend.

He said they had spoken about Raman’s claims against Pillay, however when Nana and Raman saw Pillay a few days before his death, he was friendly towards them.

“When he saw us, he greeted us and we spoke. We went with him to his car where he pulled out some dagga and made a joint. Kurtlee said we should sit in his car. While smoking, he pulled out some cocaine from the ashtray. We had a casual conversation and Kurtlee spoke about magic mushrooms.

“There was some residue from magic mushrooms in Kurtlee’s car and we tasted it. Kurtlee took out some more weed and made another joint. He then left and went home,” Nana recalled.

He said he did not expect Pillay to chat to them.

A few days later, Raman, Nana and Tayob spoke again about Raman’s claims and they allegedly hatched a plan for how they would approach Pillay.

“We parked the (Raman’s) car in a direction facing Kurtlee’s flat. We came up with how we would take his phone forcibly if he did not hand it over. I was going to grab him in a headlock and whoever got there first would grab the phone. If he (Pillay) would have fought back, I was going to tighten my grip,” Nana said.

The trial was adjourned until on Wednesday because Nana was tired and had been testifying for most of the day.

Outside court, Pillay’s mother, Tracy Pillay, was emotional when she heard Nana had apologised.

She and Nana’s mother embraced.

“I think Dinesh is genuinely remorseful and so is his mother. She just wants him to tell the truth,” she said.

The trial continues.

Daily News